The faces of American Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham … [+]
De Agostini via Getty Images
“Human happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.”
“You can have anything you want if you want it badly enough. You can do anything you want to be, do anything you set out to accomplish if you hold to that desire with singleness of purpose.”
Americans are readying for President’s Day, a federal holiday honoring past Presidents of the United States. Originally, Washington’s Birthday, the holiday was intended to give an additional three-day weekend to federal employees.
The annual holiday is celebrated the third Monday in February and many people now associate it with Presidents Washington and Lincoln’s birthdays. These two national icons led during important and volatile times in American history, and their influence remains relevant today. While consumers can expect to see special shopping and savings offers, Presidents Day represents much more.
I think it’s a good reminder for corporate leaders to do more than save on a new car purchase this weekend. Look at what’s happening across the globe – people have access to more information, want more things they identify with and are able to find new solutions to their needs and wants. In short, they are much more powerful consumers than at any other time in history.
What business sector is not evolving or, even more dramatically, being revolutionized? Pick a sector: media, transportation, financial services, education, communications, manufacturing, energy, politics… the list goes on and on. Change is the only constant and these industries are being disrupted to better serve individual needs. Amazon, Uber, Netflix, Apple are all valued for the ways they serve customers differently from providers before them.
If you’re a corporate executive, now is a good time to think and behave like an intrapreneur. Start by asking better questions -like how can I add more value to our customers? If you want to read more about behaving differently and adding value to your employer, this Forbes article by Richard Eisenberg is a great start.
And, if you think you have the “right idea”, you may want to be one of the 100 million entrepreneurs expected to start a company in 2020. While there remains significant challenges for startups, no doubt the barriers to launch a company are being lowered by cheaper technologies, digital marketing, alternative financing and social distribution capabilities. When your business idea has a triple bottom line return (profits, people and planet) you’re aligning with what’s more important to the powerful them too! If you’re going to launch a business, why not make more than money and create impact too?
Washington and Lincoln embraced change and landed on the right side of history. They were imperfect men, but they are forever etched in history’s memory (and in South Dakota granite). Reflect on their lives and accomplishments and maybe you will find today’s struggles are in fact tremendous opportunities. And if you need more inspiration, there are many ways to connect with motivational gurus like Eric Thomas, Felicia Hatcher, Dave Meltzer and many others who prove that Lincoln’s sentiment about personal achievement rings true now more than ever.